Friday, 31 January 2014

Homeschool choices 2014 and our first week.

2014 has started off very smoothly! We have made the shift to Weaver from Alpha Omega Publishers. Weaver allows me to teach K - 12 with the same focus each lesson, which I am thankful for.

Weaver Box

I was impressed how the kids have taken to this new approach, so easily. Weaver uses a lots of  exploration through 'doing' and reading, which I love! I am so thankful to God for my stumbling upon it.

The greatest thing about this curriculum is that it is bible centred. It is called Weaver because it starts with the Bible and weaves other subjects from our Bible focus (social studies, history, health and safety, observation projects, language arts and creative writing).

For our other subjects we have chosen to stick with Learning Language Arts through Literature. Damon is moving into the green book, Adele is finishing the Orange book and Avril has returned to the Blue book. 

For maths Damon is continuing with Math-U-See and the girls are using Mammoth Math Light Blue Series.
The rest of this post will show you what we have been up to this week.

Gen 11: 4 City Built - The Tower of Babel.

The kids retelling the story of Babel.

Our second bible focus was Matt 7: 24 - 27, a house built on sand and a house built on the rock. Here is Avril blowing on each paper house that I built, one is on soil (had no sand) and the other on a rock (stuck down!).
Map Making:

The kids took a walk around our neighbourhood taking special note of special features and roads. They drew a map of the neighbourhood as they walked.

The next lesson on map making a couple of days later, saw the kids learning about scale ratio, legends , marking N, S, E, W and transferring their rough maps onto larger paper with their own ratio based on information from a local map.

Damon is reading a book called Where Am I? The Story of Maps and Navigation to give him some background on this topic.

Avril also had to create a map. With help she mapped her bedroom and created her own key for items in her room.


Whilst we were out walking and mapping our neighbourhood, Avril and Josef collected soil samples for our soil activities during the week.

Avril and I read some books on soil and what it contains. Then we began to investigate our samples.
Our first task was to separate our home soil into layers. So we filled a jar half way and then topped up with water, which we shook up really well. Then we left it on a shelf undisturbed until it settled.

Our next task was to see what was in our neighbourhood samples. We gathered bowls, magnifying glasses and sifters. We sifted each sample, separating the larger particles from the smaller. Then we looked closely at each sample, discussing and drawing what we found.

Avril found the expected seeds, rocks, leaves, fur, insects and so on. But Josef found some quite unusual items such as crocodiles and dragons!! lol!

What is A Geologist??

Later in the week we read Childcraft Volume 6: Our World and discovered what a geologist is. We then headed outside to test the compaction of our soil :)

Avril alos had to list what construction items we need for building a home. So we read Childcraft Annual: A Place to Live, in which we discovered how children all over the world live, plus what construction items we would need to build a home.


Damon and Adele have started their study of rocks. They started their investigations with viewing, The Geology Kitchen on You Tube.

Damon then started his science unit on Geology in Apologia General Science. As a result this afternoon we are heading to the kitchen to start growing crystals with sugar, Epsom salts and Copper Sulphate.

They have been investigating Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and how they are formed through reading library books. They also used rock identification sheets from Considering Gods Creation.

The kids had rocks which they had collected last year, so they used these to examine and investigate their types.

Adele has decided that being a geologist might be interesting. She continued her investigations on a trip out to an appointment during the week, when she grinned cheekily at me, as she produced a magnifying glass and a rock she had picked up on our walk!

During the week, thanks to LLATL, Adele also discovered an interest in poetry. She is really enjoying her poetry unit and so I offered her a book to read called, Robert Louis Stevenson: Storyteller and Adventurer.
On Friday we decided it was a good opportunity to go rock fossicking at Cedar Creek. We packed our swimmers and headed out to find some rocks. Unfortunately when we arrived the water wasn't flowing so no swimming happened. But we did have a great time hunting rocks.

Everyone found some interesting rocks. We also found lots of cow bones and teeny tiny frogs!

We then headed to Hunter Valley Gardens for a picnic, play, some icecream and some English sweets :)
The kids are always thrilled to spot any wildlife. Here is a goat and wallaby that we came across on our travels.

A photo of Galahs, that Adele rushed out to take in our backyard.

We have had a very productive and fun packed week, can't wait until next week :)

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